The most powerful word to overcome “I can’t”

December 10, 2020

Most Powerful Word to Overcome I Can't

My husband and I have a strong “I can’t” policy in our house. It is as condemned as severely as other well-known four-letter words. When our children first learned to say “I can’t,” we quickly corrected them by saying with God you CAN do anything. They typically roll their eyes and grown followed by a “BUT, Mom…” As children, we encounter many things that we can’t do because of a lack of skill, strength, or permission. If you are anything like me it is challenging to overcome those same hurdles as an adult. 

How many of us have caught ourselves in an “I can’t” situation?

I cant

We get so bogged down in reasons why we can’t that we miss an opportunity. We close ourselves off to possibilities because we short-changed ourselves and God. 

What if the Wright brothers gave into an “I can’t” mindset? We wouldn’t have airplanes. Thomas Edison was told by teachers that he was too stupid to learn anything. What if he said, “I can’t create a successful light bulb, I’m too dumb?” Our homes would still be lit by candlelight. These two examples are people who believed in the possibility of could.

The most powerful word to overcome “I can’t” is:

  • “I can’t become a missionary in India, but I COULD pray, raise money, and encourage Indian missionaries.” 
  • “I can’t touch my toes, but I COULD stretch down to my toes every day for the next ten days.”
  • “I can’t build a women’s shelter, but I COULD donate canned goods to the local food pantry.”
  • “I can’t manage a team, but I COULD help take some tasks off my manager’s desk.” 
  • “I can’t lose weight, but I COULD make healthier food choices.” 
  • “I can’t buy a house, but I COULD research what steps I need to take to become a homeowner.” 
  • “I can’t sing on the worship team, but I COULD take singing lessons and join the choir.” 

You see the word “can’t” is limiting. It has no hope. Can’t implies surrender, giving up, and quitting. 

Could – used to indicate possibility (potentially able to)

Can’t – can not (not able to, not permitted to, limited) 

Here is a scripture that is pregnant with possibility and potential. Say this passage anytime you are tempted to say I can’t as you face a goal. 


With God nothing is impossible. (Luke 1:37 NKJV


Do you know that this passage means exactly what it says? Nothing is out of bounds with God. I believe you COULD change your life by speaking this over your circumstances before you settled into “I can’t.” 

I am aware that there are real limiting situations that prevent us from doing things. I recognize that there are actual events or goals that we can’t do. The Wright brothers couldn’t fly when they first started. But they could keep learning and refining their invention. I can’t buy my husband a new corvette because I don’t the finances. But I could start saving money each month to eventually bless him with his dream car. I serve a big God who is all about doing the miraculous and impossible. 

Think about something you CAN’T do right now that you would like to do? Replace your can’t with something you could do? Do you feel more or less hopeful? Even though you may still feel reluctant I bet you have more hope. COULD is the most powerful word to overcome “I can’t,” because it’s full of hope. What can you do if you lean into the possibility of COULD?

  • You could change your family.
  • You could love your spouse.
  • You could move somewhere new.
  • You could adopt a child. 
  • You could make a friend. 

You are a child of God, built with all the tools to bring hope and potential into an impossible world.  If you feel led to do something there is nothing limiting you except your ability to exchange an existing CAN’T for a promised-filled COULD. I’d love to hear what you think you COULD do in the comments below. 

Much Love,

  1. Claudette says:

    I really enjoyed this post! This is a new twist to how I approach some of my staff! I like the JC signature too!

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